Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: "Contraband"

Sometimes a movie is just so bad that it does not merit a full-fledged review. Contraband is one of those movies.

It is Mark Wahlberg's first performance since winning an Academy Award nomination for The Fighter, a film which he produced. I criticized the film Wahlberg's performance (a word I will use lightly for a film that won two Oscars for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress), and Contraband officially confirms that Mark Wahlberg is not really a great actor. Or he just had a whole lot of trouble with the ludicrous screenplay!

Contraband is directed by Baltasar Karmákur, an Icelandic actor and director. He starred in Reykjavik-Rotterdam (2008), upon which Contraband is based. The Icelandic film won numerous awards and is considered one of the costliest Icelandic films of all time. The only other Icelandic film I have seen is The Sea (2002) - an incredible film - which was coincidentally directed by Baltasar Kormákur.

Kate Beckinsale, as Wahlberg's wife in the film, is equally miscast. Her character is another pathetic wife who finds herself in danger while her husband is gone. Her performance is on the same level. And Giovanni Ribisi's bad guy has the kind of accent that drives you crazy. Roger Ebert, in a generous two star review, is equally unkind to Ribisi.

There is no need to discuss the plot. The film is about a former smuggler (Wahlberg) who finds himself back on a ship to Panama after his wife's brother puts the family's safety in jeopardy.

Luckily Contraband opened in January, or else it would be strongly considered for the worst film of the year.

It would be kind to give the film a rating.

1 comment:

  1. You know something's wrong when you high-five your seat neighbour in the theatre when the lead actress dies.

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